The Finite Element Method (FEM) is probably the most popular numerical method for solving partial differential equations and is widely used in engineering. It is based on the subdivision of the structure considered into small, but finite small regions of simple geometry, for which the respective differential equations are approximately solved in a closed way. This solution is based on individual, i.e. discrete degrees of freedom of the structure and fulfills in parallel essential physical laws in an integral way. In the lecture, these laws are the equilibrium conditions.
For the introduction of the finite element method, the course is limited to two-dimensional problems that can be idealized with the help of bar and beam elements. Further topics are: